Important ruling against subscription traps

Published On: 09.October.2023Categories: Legal2 min read
EuGH Urteil
Avatar photo
Nora Wölflick writes about interesting, topical issues for the Love & Law Blog at Recht 24/7.

One of the biggest pitfalls of online subscriptions is the so-called “subscription trap.” Users who sign up for a free trial subscription and miss the cancellation deadline often find themselves in long-term, fee-based contracts.

When a second right of cancellation takes effect

The ECJ has sent a decisive message to companies with a recent ruling: Consumer protection is paramount. If consumers fall into the subscription trap because they were not sufficiently informed about the terms and conditions of the subscription, they have the right to revoke that subscription a second time.

In concrete terms, this means that even if the original right of withdrawal has already been exhausted, consumers can still exercise a further right of withdrawal if they have not been expressly informed about the costs and conditions of the subsequent paid subscription. This second right of withdrawal gives consumers an additional layer of security.

European Court of Justice rules in “Sofa Tutor” case

The Luxembourg judges made it clear that they recognize the importance of consumer protection in the digital world. They require that consumers be informed of their rights in a clear and understandable manner. Vague or difficult-to-understand wording that could mislead consumers will not be tolerated.

The ruling is a victory for consumer protection in Europe. It shows that companies must communicate in a transparent and comprehensible manner and that they can be held accountable for improper actions.


The ECJ’s decision sends a strong signal to companies offering online subscriptions. Consumer protection is the focus and companies must ensure that they provide clear and transparent information about the terms of their services.

At a time when online services and subscriptions are becoming increasingly popular, it is important that consumers know their rights and can be confident that they are protected. The ECJ’s ruling strengthens confidence in the digital market and sets a standard for consumer rights in Europe.